Thursday, December 06, 2007

A snack gone wrong

Grocery stores operate a little differently here than what one may be used to say in Canada. At Canadian (and I'm sure American) grocery stores, strict guidelines are adhered to, to ensure that items on shelves are of consumable quality. Ones that are about to expire are taken off the shelf and very rarely are they left there past their shelf life. It is because of these kinds of quality checks that I am not used to checking expiration dates of products I buy. Yes, I know it's not good practice but in my defence, I've been spoiled.

When we first got here on the island in 2005, we were told a very interesting story, a cautionary tale, if you will. One of Hubby's coworkers told us that his grocery shopping trip a few weeks into arriving on the island turned into something he could not have imagined. He bought the usual items, among which were bread, deli luncheon meat, that sort of thing. After consuming his homemade deli sandwich a few hours later, he started to feel a little queasy. And then it got worse. He had a severe case of food poisoning which lasted about a week. A quick check among his recent grocery acquisitions in a attempt to single out the culprit, left him appalled with the finding that the deli meat had expired. A year ago! And yet here it was still on the shelf, for didn't he just purchase it a few hours earlier. He said it was the worst case of food poisoning of his life. Since then he's been diligent, performing checks himself, not leaving anything to chance and has been warning any and all newcomers onto the island to his very own helping of buyer beware!

Now, please keep in mind that this was almost three years ago (where have the years gone?). I'm sure the grocery stores have changed and such a thing is not an occurrence (I hope). But I posted this as a tale of caution that one must take to heart no matter which island they're on (just kidding - no matter which country they're in). You never know what you're picking off the shelf. I still morph back into my old Canadian ways, but Hubby, ever cautious & diligent enough for us both, reminds me to check the expiration date every time.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just bought a box of cereal from Harrington Hundreds and upon pouring it into a bowl, it started to come out strangely, so I shook a little harder and a big clump of it was dangling from a large bunch of spider webs! The box was full of them! I can't tell you how repulsed I was...it's put me off of cereal now.

bermudabluez said...

Yikes! That anonymous comment is also a little scary! Since I have already gone the food poisoning route.....I now check EVERY single date of every single product I purchase. I still think it's better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, it takes only one bout of food poisoning for one to learn this lesson real well...

ZenDenizen said...

Anon - Wow! I'd be traumatized, too! I ate some granola that expired only 4 months ago and I got food poisoning. It has put me off granola for a while now.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Anon: Oh that is scary. Now I have to worry about spiders? Sheesh!

BB: As much as we try to be careful with what we consume, you never know when we may become targets.

ZenDeniZen: Well, I guess that takes expired granola off my list.

Thanks for your comments, guys!

iceiceami said...

Maybe this is why in Bermuda they sell that "fake" milk (aka "recombined skim milk) which is basically oil, water and skim milk powder. I had been on the island at least 2 years before someone told me that skim milk, really is not skim milk but oil/water/powder mixture. I was so grossed out I decided to switch to 2% despite the higher fat content. At least it was real milk. When you look close at the labels of the dunkley skim milk you will see that they do not even call it milk. I beleive they label it as a skim recombined beverage or something. Gross - but it probably has a super long shelf life. Something else about Bermuda groceries....most milk cartons do not have expiration dates on them, so even if you are being careful there is no way to know until you pour some clumpy, chunky milk that it has gone bad.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

OH Ami! Don't make me laugh! Actually Bda milk cartons do have expiry dates. They're imprinted on the top but it's just the date...like 5 or 16 or 25 (like for that month).
click on this link:
http://underthebermudasun.blogspot.com/2007/02/got-milk.html

Yes, it's true other than the blue cartoon and the blue&pink (which is proper skim milk), the others are all FAKE and gross!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean ... I usually do the brocery shopping andwas warned by co-workers to watch the expiry dates, which I do. My wife went off to the grocery a couple of months ago (kids in tow) and grabbed whatever was in reach. A couple of days later our youngest had food poisoning (emergency trip to King Edward Hospital) and fridge started to smell funny. A quick audit and sure enough the hot dogs had expired the previous month, milk was old, sandwich meat - well you get the picture. Always check the expiry dates.